September 16, 2008

Japan, Oh How I Love Thee

Apparently trends in wine aren't the only things that manga/anime fans are shaping in Japan - they are also playing an important role in deciding who the next prime minister is going to be:
Following the resignation of Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, one of the most likely successors to the job is politician Taro Aso. As the photo above shows, he's quite popular in nerd central Akihabara for his love of manga. 
Last year, when Aso occupied the post of Minister of Foriegn Affairs, he established the "International Manga Award" for non-Japanese comic artists who adopt the country's manga style.
There's even a shop in Akiba dedicated to Aso, who is currently the Secretary General of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The shop, called "Oretachi no Taro" (Our Taro), calls him a "cool old dude" and sells Aso-branded gifts like cakes.
Otaku have given Aso the nickname "Rozen Aso" for his love of the manga Rozen Maiden.
Last year, when Aso was first rumored to be next in line for the prime ministry, stocks in manga retailers rose.
That's from Wired (via) and the pictures are definitely worth a look.  I expect Obama and McCain are both pressing for a Naruto endorsement as we speak.

PS - COMPLETELY unrelated (or maybe not . . . hmmmm) . . . . . . mine is Taupe Armageddon, which you have to admit is pretty awesome.

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